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22-year-old man smothered 14-year-old girlfriend, burned body because she wouldn’t get abortion
The maximum prison sentence allowed has been handed down to a 22-year-old man found guilty of suffocating his teen girlfriend to death after she told him she was pregnant and wouldn’t have an abortion.
Christian Ferdinand was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of Shaniesha Forbes, 14, whose charred body was found stuffed in a suitcase that washed up on a Brooklyn, New York, beach in January 2013.
An autopsy revealed she wasn’t actually carrying a baby.
Ferdinand had met Forbes through Facebook, and was arrested four months after her death in Maine.
He confessed to the crime and was even bold enough to ask for a light sentence of community service.
Despite the earlier confession, he denied murder when in court on Wednesday for his sentencing.
‘I never put a hand on a female in an inappropriate manner,’ he told Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog.
‘I would never kill someone over an abortion,’ Ferdinand added. ‘There’s no reason to take someone’s life just because they said they was pregnant. These are all false things.’
‘My condolences to the family, but I didn’t kill Shaniesha.’
Forbes’ cousin Kerri-Ann Thomas read a statement on behalf of her grieving family, referring to Shaniesha as ‘Mimi’ she lamented that they would not see her grow up.
She said: ‘He [Ferdinand] was 20 years old, the age most people consider to be a man but it’s obvious he is no such thing.’
‘What was he doing with a little girl, a baby, a child?’
‘He talked about his eyes and how he had a hard time keeping girls off him. I hope that works well for him in prison,’ she added.
At the trial in December 2014, Assistant District Attorney Robert Walsh said: ‘He intentionally smothered a 14-year-old girl to death and burned her body to get rid of the evidence. He had a problem that needed solving, he didn’t want to pay child support, and Shaniesha got in the way.’
It took a jury just an hour to convict Ferdinand with murder.
Walsh said the crime demanded the maximum penalty because Ferdinand showed a lack of remorse and because of his inhuman treatment of the girl’s body after killing her.
Forbes, who was a freshman at the Academy for Young Writers in Williamsburg, allegedly first infuriated her boyfriend when she told him she was pregnant via text message in January 2013.
Ferdinand responded to the announcement by texting back: ‘My n****, are you serious? Kill that s***’
But Forbes made it clear that she would not get an abortion, saying it would hurt her religious mother.
The couple later met at Ferdinand’s cousin’s house where Forbes continued to talk about the pregnancy while they were both sitting on the couch.
That’s when Ferdinand snapped and grabbed a leather pillow to suffocate his girlfriend to death.
Investigators asked Ferdinand if Forbes fought back as he was killing her, and he replied: ‘She tried, wasn’t much of a struggle, she was little.’
After she died, Ferdinand proceeded to douse her body in Axe body spray which he used to set the corpse on fire with a Bic lighter.
He later stuffed her body in a suitcase which he tossed into Gerriston Bay, believing the saltwater would destroy any evidence left on Forbes’ body after the burning. The body was later found when the suitcase washed up on Gerriston Beach.
It was also revealed in the course of the trial, that Ferdinand spoke casually about Forbes’ killing to a friend.
‘It didn’t deserve to live’ Ferdinand told a friend, according to testimony.
He also booked into a hotel with an ex-girlfriend the day after the murder. The unnamed ex allegedly wanted to have sex with Ferdinand but he told her he was too tired.
When the jury gave the guilty verdict in December, Forbes’ 22-year-old sister Shaquana told the Daily News: ‘He deserves much worse.’